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Photography at Felixstowe Academy

Course description

Photography is a medium that we can all use, but what turns a snapshot into a great picture? You will study the techniques, practice and theory of photography. This will include the use of SLR cameras and the developing and printing of photographs. You will also study the use of digital cameras and digital imagery.

The skills you will develop will be varied. Among them you will develop a working knowledge of materials, practices and technology within photography. You will develop the skills to interpret and convey your ideas and feelings. You will develop your imaginative and creative powers and your experimental, analytical and documenting skills. You will also develop a specialist vocabulary and the knowledge and understanding of photgraphy in history and contemporary society.

Course content

You will learn how to use our well equiped darkroom to process your own films and to produce high quality prints. Practical work emphasises the broadening of your experience of the camera through studio, portrait, landscape, abstract and experimental work.

However AS level photography is not an easy option and you should be prepared to work hard at developing your abilites.

Projects include work in areas such as; using natural and artificial lighting, creating mood, architecture and interiors, use of pattern, texture and background, capturing action and movement etc. The theoretical side of the subject looks into the physics of light, lenses and how cameras work. it also deals with the chemistry of monochrome and colour film, photographic papers and developing and dark room design and safety. In each case we take through the theory and then set practical exercises to develop an understanding of the possibilities of the subject.

Entry requirements

The AS level photography course is open to students who have no prior experience but can show evidence of ability and interest through other relevant work or study. Students who are follwoing other related courses in art and design subjects are particularly encouraged. It is recommended that you own or at least have access to a single-lens reflex 35mm camera which offers full manual control in addtion to any automatic mode.

A2: Grade C or above at AS level. If a lower level is acheived at AS then these cases will be decided upon on an individual basis.


Photography is a practical subject and you spend a large proportion of your time engaged in the art of making your images, this will include shooting films, developing and processing them using the darkroom or manipulating your images using computer software. There is however an essential amount amount of written work that needs to be completed to fully succeed in this subject. You will need to demostrate your understanding of the technical processes and procedures, how to analyse images and the historical and contextual relevance of photgraphy. We will visit photographic exhibitions but you will be expected to research and explore the work of other photographers independently, as well as continuing to shoot films outside of school.

Coursework (60%) - Students will produce a single unit of practical coursework with accompanying work journals. The work journals will record ideas and inspirations as well as analysis of a students own work alongside that of other artists.

Controlled assignment external examination (40%). You will have a designated period of time to prepare and you will have an eight hour exam.

Financial information

Although the art department will provide essential chemicals for you to work with, it is important to stress that photgraphy can be an expensive subject and will involve some personal expense.

Future opportunities

The AS leads directly to the A2 exam and from there you may wish to take a foundation course at college before specialising at university. There are many careers open to a photographer including fashion, advertising, sports, journalism, weddings and studio photography.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Felixstowe Academy directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September